Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy & Lucky Family Chinese Restaurant: Yum Cha

Location: 23-25 Anderson Creek Road, Doncaster East
Cuisine: Chinese, Yum Cha

After an unimpressive visit a while back, we decided to give this restaurant another go following rumours that the ownership had changed.

How wrong were we?

We arrived for a late lunch and were terribly disappointed by yet another bad experience.

The first of the trolleys arrived at our table, and the waitress  asked us what we wanted without telling us what was available. We had to point and ask about each individual steamer. We ended up with a range of dumplings and some braised beef tendon.

It later turned out that that was the one and only trolley circulating. The rest either came out on trays or had to be ordered (without a menu).

clockwise from left: scallop dumplings, prawn dumplings,
chive dumplings, braised beef tendon
The dumplings were rather average. The scallop and prawn dumplings had nice thin wrappers, but were lacking in actual seafood content and tasted like they were predominantly filled with some floury base. The chive dumpling was a little better, with a strong chive flavour. The beef tendon had a nice gelatinous texture, with the exception of a few pieces that were slightly underdone.

left: rice paper crispy prawns; right: chicken feet

The biggest disappointment was the crispy rice paper prawns. We should have guessed from the lack of colour that they wouldn't be that crispy, but we didn't expect them to be borderline soggy. It was as though the oil wasn't hot enough when they were deep fried, so instead of frying, the rice paper wrappers just soaked up all the oil. The dipping sauces were the only redeeming features, and they were stock standard sauces.

Unlike the other dishes, the chicken feet came out smoking hot and were cooked well. Nice flavour, actual pieces of black bean and soft chewy gelatinous pieces of chicken feet.

The only other dish we ordered was the fried turnip cake, which had a nice crispy finish, but was a little underseasoned.

The lack of quality in the food was one thing. On the way out, I noticed a dead fish in their 'live seafood' tank. I'm not sure I'll be returning anytime soon, and definitely won't be ordering any live seafood from there.

Overall Impression: 4/10

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